8 November 2022

Bharat Jodo Diary (Midday)


By Pawan Khera and Manish Khanduri

Maharashtra, That Was Incredible!

Late nights and late mornings. Such was the #BharatJodoYatra this first morning session on the first full day in the state of Maharastra.

If that sounds confusing it shouldn’t be. The Yatris entered Maharashtra yesterday, and their typical evening session started at around 8:30PM and ended at midnight. And to compensate for that late night, the Yatris were given a later morning start today.

But what a night it was! The Maharastra team had decided to give the walkers lit torches / mashaals to carry through the evening and night walk, and they made for some of the most striking visuals this Yatra has seen so far.

It would be prosaic to say that the Yatra started which started at the Mirjapur Hanuman Mandir, Kamareddy Telangana; was welcomed at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Statue, Kalamandir, Degloor, and continued to end their journey at Gurdwara Yaadgar Baba Zoravar Singh ji, Fateh Singh ji.

But that would be besides the point.

From a distance, on the highway, the Yatris looked like a thousand fireflies against the backdrop of some gigantic incandescent lamp. Close right up and you could see the Yatris silhouetted in the darkness and the flickering red flames of the mashaals they held aloft. For the first time in the #BharatJodoYatra they walked in the night and it was a magnificent sight.

The Flame Bearers: Bharat Yatris prepare for their unique torchlit night walk

And as they entered this holy city of Nanded it became an even more visually arresting scene. The panorama of burning torches, car headlights, media spotlights and the wavering shadows of the Yatris had to be seen.

It was, reminisces Yatri Mohit Uniyal, “As if the Bharat Yatra itself was an arrow of light piercing the darkness brought about by the BJP/ RSS ideologies.”

Yatri Mohit Uniyal (centre): “It was like the light was piercing the darkness of hate and divisiveness.” Also in the picture, Yatris Jyoti Rautela (Left) and Anshul Trivedi (Right)

And speaking of light, we also wish a happy Gurpurab to all!

Currently in the state of Maharastra, the Bharat Jodo Yatra is a five month, 3500 kilometre long Padyatra from Kanyakumari in the South of India to Kashmir up in the North. It is part of the party’s national mass outreach program aimed at highlighting social polarisation, economic inequalities and political centralisation.

Ground research: Aparna Ashwarya (INC Communications Department research team)

Midday Travel Facts

1. Nanded district has been a major place for Sikh pilgrimage. The tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh made Nanded his permanent abode and passed the Guruship to Guru Granth Sahib before his death in 1708 in Nanded.
2. The district is also known for various Sufi Shrines, Kandhar Fort, and the beautiful waterfall of Sahastrakund.
3. Nanded is the birthplace of three renowned Maratha Poets- Vishnupant Shesa, Ragunath Shesa and Vaman Pandit.
4. The 700-year-old treatise Leela Charita, written by Mhaimbhatta mentions the district of Nanded and its irrigation practices.
5. The district is slowly emerging as an industrial centre, namely cotton spinning and weaving mills.